NASA will try for a 10th time to launch cloud-making rocket

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (Delmarva Now) -- Actual clouds are preventing NASA from making its own clouds. Again.

Wallops Flight Facility on Tuesday scrubbed its ninth attempt to launch a Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket designed to release colorful clouds in space. The tenth attempt is scheduled for Saturday, June 24, between 9:07 and 9:22 p.m.

NASA said it canceled Tuesday's flight because it was too cloudy. The agency has been trying to launch the rocket since May 31, with no success.

Reasons for canceling the launch have included high winds, thunderstorms, cloud cover and boats in the hazard area.

Clear skies are required for scientists on the ground to view the highlight of the mission: colorful clouds of vapor that will be deployed about four minutes into the flight.

The goal is to test a new deployment method for the clouds, NASA said. The red and blue-green clouds are expected to be visible from New York to North Carolina and as far west as Charlottesville, Virginia.

Studying the clouds' interactions will help support studies of the ionosphere and aurora, officials say.

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